tv Politics Public Policy Today CSPAN February 23, 2013 6:00am-7:00am EST
december even before the start of the legislative session, we were creating jobs, developing the workforce, reforming government my hope is that the focus will be that over the next two years and everything else is distractions. these are the vicious people in my state one of me working on. those are the areas i asked the legislature to join me on. >> a couple things happening in washington. . the big story these ways -- deus is the sequester and when it will go into effect. what with the impact be for wisconsin? >> you look at the two different parts. potentially the option for two out there. like other states, a relatively minimal effect -- no big
military installation there. it would not be like virginia. or california, other places along port. most of our military are the national guard in the reserve. we have some defense contractors, but they have already made adjustments anticipating this as early as last year. there is not a dramatic impact. my concern and that of many of my fellow governors is, if there is something done as an alternative to that, do no harm. to not do things that will further reduce the increase in our nation's economic recovery. >> you are a small government conservative. this is an opportunity to really pare back the size of our government. you want to see this go into effect? x i think there should be a limited government. i do not like random changes. in the last budget, i invested
$1.2 billion more into medicaid. major cuts in terms of what we gave local governments. those local governments and school districts to make up for those budget changes. i think should be more strategic. i do not hate government. i hate the fact that much of our federal government is too large. the things we do, we should do better. >> speaking of medicaid, you made news by turning down the medicaid expansion as part of the affordable care act. something that was driven by politics instead of by progress -- do you want to respond to senator bolan? >> unlike other governors, unite governors who either did did not take it or governors that did. we did something completely different. fairly novel when it comes to reform. the wall street journal said it
should be a national model. we reduced the number of of uninsured people in our state. and i reduce the net number of childless adults on medicaid by over 5000. we take 87,000 people living above poverty today who qualify for medicaid and move them into the free market, the regular market system, or the exchanges. for which those living just above poverty can now qualify for and insurance policy at $19 for a premium. >> it is still obamacare, because the exchanges were created by -- >> they are there. i would much rather have people in an area that moves toward the marketplace. here is the interesting add-on to that. there are 82,000 people who are not currently covered who are living in poverty today that i do cover. who were camped off by my art assessor -- predecessor.
i have made medicaid program -- the system covers what it is supposed to. people living in poverty. every single person in my state will be covered under medicaid. those living above poverty will be put on a path for market exchanges to move themselves. why that is unique, i did this with food stamps and unemployment compensation, i firmly believe we need to move from a dependency and lifetime government dependence to independence. true independence, if you will. i think that is better off for people long-term. >> your neighbor across the lake, governor snyder in michigan, recently put in place a law, a right to work bill. landmark news in the state.
your state, home of a long progressive tradition -- [indiscernible] >> today if you are public employees, you do not have to pay dues. you do not have to be in a union. you have a freedom to choose. for a teacher in milwaukee, that means going forward, he or she does not have to pay up to $1400 in state and local dues. that is their choice. conversely, local governments can also then choose to ask people to pay for things like their healthcare competitions -- contributions. much less than what the average non-public-sector employee is paying in the state of wisconsin.
we have that for the public sector. we do not need to be that competitive -- our competition, michigan and indiana where they passed a year ago, we have illinois and minnesota. we are not going down that path . illinois raised taxes. minnesota in -- proposed a tax increase. i am cutting taxes. >> the governor before you talked about the issue of guns, gun control is been a hot topic. you have a state with a hunting tradition, you have democrats in your state who are program as well as republicans. is there any common ground of the gun issue here in the months ahead? >> if you look at the tragedies in connecticut, wisconsin, colorado, -- there are two in my
state. what is the common denominator? similar to a month or so ago when we had someone come to our state capital looking for me with a backpack full of molotov talk tales. people who had chronic, severe cases of mental illness. i put the largest investment in 30 years to provide for mental health services statewide, almost $30 million. it is common denominator's, it is not just a firearm. it goes all the way back to oklahoma city. it is chronically untreated mental illness. our services go beyond that. you look at the reaction from the strategies, either gun control or -- a false sense of security. the real issue is people who have not been treated, in many cases, known to family and friends, but have not received
the treatment they need to not get into extreme situations. >> you do not go over the nra line, putting armed guards and schools? >> just banning a certain firearm would not stop that. there are multiple ways to get it. just arming a bunch of people would not do that, either. someone could be armed on the other side of the school, that does not protect. none of these are 100% full proof. the only risk, get up with the problem is. stop before people even get to that point. that is the one denominator -- i remember before we had the tragedy at the sikh temple, there was a good job done in reacting to what happened in aurora. families seeking to protect and try to heal, then trying -- ultimately what you have to do is find out what could have been done to prevent this.
it is not purely a political solution. >> the concessive in washington, if anything gets done, some kind of expanded background checks. could you support that? >> and has to be done at the national level. jumping all over the place, we have successful background checks and wisconsin, felons for people who have been committed for mental disease issues in the past. so protecting the rights of law- abiding citizens, that is paramount. >> i want to talk to you about some stories i read, steve pays ofhayes, spent the evening the state of the union speech with you at the governor's mansion, watching on your oversized hd television in madison, watching the speech with scott walker or it sort of a thing to your reaction
of what the president was saying. you did have some praise for a couple of passages that the president had in his speech. one of those was on immigration area do you said it was "not half bad." >> more than anything, i want to see it fix the immigration system. whether you are coming from mexico, canada, germany, anywhere else around the globe, you have a broken system and that is indicative of a government not being able to handle legal immigration. i can appear, i got off, the door opened -- if you are microsoft, and a lot of tech companies across the country, one of their biggest challenges is that you cannot get enough high skilled, highly trained individuals. one of the biggest frustrations is not having enough work visas to allow people from around the globe to come in. it is not unique to microsoft, a lot of other companies out there. it is a broken system. if somebody wants to come live
the american dream and work hard, whether it is a graduate student or someone else that comes in, we should have a system that works. we spend too much time in washington talking about ways to deal with people who have come in who did not come in legally. the real problem here is that we do not have a way for people who legally want to come in. the vast majority from many countries want to come here for all the right reasons, want to live the american dream, more than anything, they want to live -- if you work hard, and little bit of self- determination, you can pass on better lives for your children and grandchildren. we should welcome those people with open arms. >> your experience as an executive of walton county with hispanic voters in your county. he did well with them. had he replicate that on the national level with republicans question mark >> be relevant.
i won three times in a county that never elect a republican. the last time i did very well, high concentrations of hispanic voters. i work very hard with small businesses in my community, just as i do as governor now. a tremendous number of the latino voters in my jurisdiction or entrepreneurs, small business owners, people who were -- came here and wanted to live the american dream. that encouraged and make a difference. in melekeok the time, -- milwaukee, i had been a long time advocate of school choice. i wanted to improve public schools. both my kids went to public schools. in places like milwaukee, were
some schools failed to live up to expectations, i want to make sure that every parent has a choice. a lot of hispanic residents having a viable catholic school as an option is a very compelling issue. i stood for that when others stood to take that away from them, that was a compelling issue. >> senator rubio says that immigration is a gateway issue for his voters. -- hispanic voters. they cannot consider a republican platform on other issues because they cannot get past the immigration issue. hearing governor romney say self deport during the primary, some of the rhetoric from your side, is the party needs to get an immigration bill done to get a clean slate with hispanic voters in 2016? >> i think the bigger issue is the country needs to deal with it, not just republicans. it is an issue i hear all the time. i hear it from farmers. particularly in the dairy industry.
we just need to deal with this. we are a country of immigrants, but also laws. we have to have a way that we welcome people who want to come to america for the right reasons under the right circumstances, but we need to find a legal path to make that possible. elliptically, if the reason to do it is because it is good for america, as a republican, i introduced the other night a young man who is 24, just came back from spending almost a year in afghanistan, one of my national guard units and wisconsin -- his parents came when he was a baby from mexico to california. they moved to wisconsin when he was 11. on november 2 last year, he just got his citizenship. he took his oath in afghanistan. the soldiers helped him with transportation for it.
i tell you that because his parents brought him and his brothers to america because they knew the benefits of being an american citizen. the opportunity that comes with it. as a republican, i think we have a compelling story whether it is someone like that or from any country, the people come to america are risk takers. they are willing to risk for their children and grandchildren and live the american dream to have a prosperity. they did not come to become dependent on the government. they did not say they want to come for the great benefits. they say, that is where i get my freedom. that is a pretty amazing message. we are not about more government dependence. we are about empowering you to control your destiny. >> your friend paul ryan has been supportive of the bipartisan approach in the senate on immigration reform, which it would include some kind of probationary status where the illegal immigrants would
immediately be able to remain in the country. do you support that? >> there has got to be some way. certainly you have to protect, my brother, his wife, his mother-in-law and grandmother both immigrated illegally. a minimum for people waiting to come in legally, they have to get an first, that they have legal status first. they have been playing by the rules. after that, set of a process where you enable google to come in and have a legal pathway to do it. that is something we have to embrace. there are some nuances moving forward. you have got to find a way to say people in line right now have first preference. then make it legally possible to move forward. >> twitter question -- do you
believe that citizens united, the court case, has been good for america? >> it does not matter what i think, i am not in the supreme court. >> it affects you politically. >> what of the big mistakes is, the law in wisconsin predated the court decision in terms of having no limits on campaign contributions. it did not impact one way or the other. >> do you think the impact of unlimited money has been good or bad for the body politic? >> more transparency is good. campaign-finance reform, everybody thinks they have a great solution. it is like squeezing a water balloon. the federal system akin to the presidential election is great, it was publicly financed and transparent. howard dean was the first one to break it. that was the great role model
of public financing. it did not work. we need more accountability in terms of greater transparency. if you know where money is coming from to support candidates, in my case that we listed the dollar amount. $37 million, 70% of that was $50 or less. not only people from wisconsin, but people from across all the states who want to help this guy. >> the idea of changing how wisconsin allocates its electoral votes by congressional district -- has that faded away? >> any of these things are interesting to look at. in my state's case, in 2000, 24, and again this year, it was viewed as a battleground state. anything that would take away our status, i would not be interested. i think it is good for my voters.
particularly going into 2016, an open race, there will be a lot of candidates coming to wisconsin who would otherwise, if we did it a different way, would only be coming to wisconsin to raise money instead of talking to voters. talking to voters is a good thing. >> politics more broadly here for a minute -- looking towards 2014 and ultimately 2016, one of the sentences in this piece where he had the speech watch party with you, i was sad to read that you did not have bratwurst. >> the week after my recall election, to show what a good guy i am, i have lawmakers of both parties and staff over, and i cooked iraq -- cooked brats in the backyard. critics he writes, water may be
the closest thing to the anti- obama that exist at a state capitol today. high praise, i assume. >> you might have a republican primary in 2016. do you want to run for president? >> i want to be governor. i had to work hard to be governor of wisconsin. i got even more votes the second time. a lot of people were tied for me to be governor, i need to be focused on that. québec's you have the best job -- >> you have the best job in the world. are we going to see you speaking at any league and reagan dinners -- lincoln-reagan dinners?
>> i lived in iowa. i lived there from 1971-1977. lane field, iowa. my representative was chuck grassley. >> his grandson is now in the statehouse. you obviously do not want to talk about your white house ambitions just yet, which is fine. i am happy to have you make news today if you would like. more broadly about the party, you were at times a pretty candid critic about governor romney's campaign. more often than they liked. and senator mccain's campaign took more than its share of criticism. is the problem just a candidate problem? is it a packaging issue? >> i think the core sense of what our principles are for,
what we stand for, is a compelling message. i just think we need to do better in a couple of key areas. we need to be more optimistic. it is not enough to hold a referendum on the opposition. you need a viable tentative -- alternative. there are 30 states today with republican governors. for other states where there are republicans elected state letters governors, we offered a plan for how to fix things. we did not just blame somebody. i just do not think the debate nationally was relevant. in my own state, i believe the difference between the president and i, many of the people who are supporters of the president measure success in government i how many people are dependent on government rated i just do not think that is a measure of success.
the other big thing is, we need to show that we have the courage to act on those beliefs. voters look at candidates in both parties and say, that is nice, but they do not have the courage to act on those beliefs to follow through on that ar. some discerning democrats said, i do not agree with everything, but i like the fact that he has the courage to say them. there are obama/scott walker supporters. i do not agree with everything he's done, but there are voters who look at what he did, look at what i did, and say, at least there are people who follow up on their beliefs. people in times of crisis are hungry for leadership. >> let me ask you about 2016, less on your own plan, but
should the next president come from the ranks of the governors? >> absolutely. up until the last election, four years ago, the last time we elected someone who is not a governor or vice president or president for reelection was 1960. every other president has been a governor, vice president or resident. it makes sense. the american people want someone who has been tested. the governor is a chief executive, the buck stops with you. a lot of great governors -- jeb bush had some very nice things to say about you over the years. education policy is one area you both feel passionately about. if abner bush ran for president, would that be a hillary like impact in terms of scaring people away? >> it would have an impact.
look at his two terms as a werner -- governor. he balances budget without raising taxes. he put in place major education reform that a lot of other governors try to replicate. he has a great record of success. in the past, if you took your finger and covered his last name and just talked about jeb, a lot of us would talk about him running for president. he is still a bush. no doubt about it. a number of names on either side of the aisle will say, is it time to use names from the past earnings going forward? -- or names going forward? >> if hillary does run, it looks pretty formidable. can you win back the white
house of hillary clinton is a nominee? >> sure. she is formidable, -- >> she is popular. >> whoever is the nominee would have to make the case of, do we want policies of the past or something fresh? >> that is the message. >> if you like, do not stop thinking about tomorrow is when bill clinton was talking about with fleetwood mac. maybe it is time to put somebody new in. >> folder you today? >> i am 45. >> you will be 47. hillary clinton will be about 70 years old. big difference. >> bobby jindal is in his 40's. a great speech last month from kissinger who can still look for a great punchline.
we were so impressed. i said to the person sitting next to me, he realized that bobby jindal and i combined are still younger and henry kissinger. >> one thing i was struck by during the campaign, governor romney was a transitional figure between an older generation, baby boomers generation and the 40 somethings. they increasingly dominate gop politics. one of those figures as paul ryan. you talk to him a lot. is his future in the house or do you think he wants to make another run? >> paul is not driven by ambition. he is courageous and sincere. up until he was a nominee for vice president, even democrats in the city would acknowledge that overwhelmingly. he will go to where he thinks he can be most useful. if that means there is a void and he thinks he needs to run for president, he will do that. he will go to the spot he thinks
it makes most sense for him to help her it >> where is the most useful right now? >> right now, clearly the house. he is exceptionally optimistic and relevant and certainly courageous. whether you agree with him or not, he is exceptionally courageous. there is a powerful thing. we were at a speech a week ago in honor of reagan's birth day with him and i and bobby, our generation is one of the first of these republican ages of politicians and nationally known positions where we invoke reagan, not because it is politically convenient, we invoke reagan because reagan was my aunt's oration. younger than you are here. >> jfk type figure. >> it is not just what men may
or republican or conservative, optimistic for public service. there was something good you could do for the people he elected to serve. he was an inspirational focus point for people like paul and i. we were kids, young men and women when president reagan piqued our interest. >> a lot of people think john boehner will retire in 2014. do you think paul ryan would be a good speaker of the house? >> he would be an exceptional leader, whatever he might be. paul ryan does great things. >> i am getting the hook. scott walker, thank you for being here. [applause] >> you will tag team out with a bill right now. notice to sue proved quick burst to see you. -- nice to see you.
>> nice to see you. we are here in washington, governor sam brownback from kansas who is trying to make the trek from topeka. the weather has slowed him down. we will finish with you, governor. >> they have 10 inches of snow that had them. >> he has an excused absence. we will finish with you today. thank you for joining us. i have been talking to the other governors, the same issue. the federal impact of the states and what is happening in the states. heading towards march 1 is the sequester, automatic edger cuts will go into effect. you have fort campbell straddling your state areas the contract is around the state.
that would be a severe issue. >> oak ridge and everything around, i just let the department of energy before i came here. one of the things that was news to me. --was how it works. every program. cleanup of a mercury problem that we have there or security issues, back in july we had a security breach. all of that gets cut. governors looking at the impact of our budget. i think that is $110 million or so. >> what would you prefer to see happened for march 1? >> obviously i would love to see the beginnings of a real deal that would address the long-term fiscal situation that involves, unlike the last time, back in
january, little spending cuts. >> you have been busy in nashville since you are elected in 2010 about what you have been up to. you do not do a lot of tv or come to washington to much. we are not offended. you have better food in tennessee. talk to us for a minute about what you have been doing in nashville and what you have accomplished and the impact on the people of your state. >> budget issues about which we all deal with as governors. we have to be pragmatic and practical there. all of us that came in in 2010, all of the federal money from the stimulus when it went away we had to deal with that. we are increasing our savings. after this, about $200 million
back in. we cut taxes on everything from groceries to inheritance tax. doing away with the gift tax. and most importantly, what we have not done in tennessee that a lot of other states have done, we have not cut k-12 education. last year we had the second- largest increase. we are going to keep focusing on those things we think are critical. >> one of those things i do not think you have decided on is whether or not to accept the medicare expansion. that has been in headlines the past few days. governor from florida is accepting the money. are you going to accept? >> we really have not decided yet. we commented to do our homework areas the impact on the state budget, a huge impact whether we expand or not.
we are doing the math for the next 10 years. number two, the impact on the population that will be covered. it is logical to think that if you have coverage you will do a better job with preventative care. we have companies i can go back and track that. if you are covered, here is what it means to you. and third is the impact on healthcare providers. we are a big healthcare town. we have a lot of rural hospitals struggling. what is the real impact? legally, -- the supreme court says you do not ever have to decide. even though we would not have to put money in the budget because we would be accepting federal money and get approval,
we told legislators we do not decide with them -- we really have the next four weeks or so. >> are you leaning a certain way? >> we have not come to that conclusion. this is a big decision. there is a lot of interest and smoke around whether to run the exchange are not. i do not know if that decision made a difference, this one does. >> you recently decided not to set up a healthcare exchange, why? >> we did not feel like hhs was really prepared in terms of the partnership model for us to do it for you and if you are pulling off something that complex, it might be easier to have one cook in the kitchen when there is so much left to be worked out.
we started with the assumption that we would do it. we think we can do it better than they can. then we thought, maybe it is best early to let them do it. >> i talked to governor walker about the immigration issue. do you want is a comprehensive immigration reform bill signed by president obama? >> i actually would area. i think it is an economic development issue. we need more folks with the right background and training of all types. i think is one of those issues that can be solved. there is a lot of things that we do not know how to come to a conclusion. this seems like one we can solve areas there are some really tough issues. my sense is, it is one of the
problems we can solve. >> education is something you have been very engaged on. is that a way that republicans can become relevant again? broken voters fled to the democratic party in the last two elections. >> we claim relevance, we are a pretty red state areas romney won and al gore lost in his home state. that being said, it is an issue that everybody feels and understands. they understand we are behind other countries. we have to compete. end of the day, here is what we can do. we are going to decide on if we bring our employees here, will they have great education? >> some have relocated.
had to have been happy with tennessee schools? >> recently. and both or only north american plant in chattanooga. nissan stars american headquarters. the first and last question they ask. two things. they need a trained work force. full slug and kept saying, we kept waiting for all this fake tennessee nice to wear off -- [laughter]they could not believe the quality of life for hospitality. but they wanted the engineers and other trained workers. >> questions online, i assume
this is a disinterested question, but can't guarantee. >> would you oppose an internet sales tax? when youm actually -- buy something on the internet, that tax is due. it is not collected by the retailer. i think it is a disservice. >> brick-and-mortar stores. >> not just that. alkyl the government lives up property tax. lives ongovernment le property tax. i used to be in an internet retail business. i understand the argument there. to me it is a basic issue of fairness. >> we were joking about your relatively low national profile. i did want to ask you about that.
politics, governors, mayors, become so nationalized, but you are not somebody that seeks to the. you seem pretty content in tennessee. do you have any national ambitions? >> everybody tells you know, right? -- no, right? the answer is, i really don't. there are 10 people who would be better than i would. my wife said, no, there are 20. >> one of your friends told my colleague, the former mayor of knoxville, victor ashe, a prominent republican, he said -- he certainly is someone who 2016 to be considered as a running mate for somebody. would you be on a ticket for somebody? >> i can honestly tell you i
have zero plans. i love my job. i did not run for governor thinking that. >> your party going forward, the democrats lost three consecutive residential elections and then finally bill clinton and some southerners got them on a more centrist posture. do you think your party needs something akin to what the doc did for democrats in the 1980's? know if i would say that. what our party needs is somebody that can show proven result. i would stand by governors because they have to do that all the time. we have to show that we understand the things that people do care about. one of the differences i have learned being governor and i campaigned for almost two years
to get this job, people and political environments yell the loudest, it is not necessarily what the person at the rotary club where the mother cares about. romney was an accomplished politician. health care bill in massachusetts, he turned her on the select city he had a record of results. president obama when a commanding reelection victory .reryy >> was a policy and philosophy that one are was it a better operation? i just wrote your chair. i hope i don't get fined. [laughter] budget cuts.
tennessee and north carolina, neighbors. north carolina is a little more liberal. romney won tennessee by 17, and through -- north carolina was close. my argument would be, you see the impact that happens. >> that is democracy. >> the demographic differences are not 14 and 15 point. >> the problem you think you had was a tactical issue. >> i do not think we did a good job explaining ourselves. obama had the -- he was able to say, if you just tax rich people, problem solved. we all know that is not true. taxing rich people will not solve all of our problems.
the republican party was not willing to give any ground. we lost the argument. >> you have seem to navigate a really conservative base, and a more centrist -- you're obviously one in 2010 and are in good shape for 2014. how can the republican party pull off that acts nationally? they keep the conservative base happy, that is culturally conservative on issues like gay marriage and abortion. >> the broad middle of the country wants but the glenn tennessee one, or indiana or wisconsin. they want somebody that can solve the problems and provide a better future outlook. i think the one message we have not gotten is, we are not doing
any favors by continuing to pass the debt down. if you look at unemployment, directly related to business investment. somehow the idea is if we pay more in taxes and the government's poems more than the economy will do better. the connection is with investment. >> on me ask you about the face of the republican party. overwhelmingly supported by white voters. you are a southern governor and obviously see the parties around racial lines. is it a healthy thing to have the democratic arty in the south as the block party --
party in the south as the black party? >> we have to do better with minority voters. it is appealing to -- there are a couple of things. saying we will campaign for every vote. we did relatively well in a historic democrat district in 2010. we did not blow them out of the water, but did utter them the average republican by engaging the community. we did not win those counties, but it was closer than people thought areas actively engaging and saying here is why we believe these things. >> you mentioned this briefly, but i wanted you draw you out. you want to see the next president come from the ranks of governors. >> i would not limited to that. i know people that serve up
your that i think would be terrific. >> like who? >> [laughter][applause]there is a long list. i will get a text when i walk out. >> you have your plaid shirt so? >> i still have it. one of my first local jobs was putting up yard signs for lamarr. hope you would give me a bigger job this time. >> what is the advantage of having a governor as candidate/president? >> if you look up to washington , there has not been a budget proposed to solve the problem. like it or not, you have to do it. one of the arguments i would make, if you look at democrat mayors, they all tend to become
a little bit more pragmatic and office. you might say the same thing about republicans. these offices force you to solve problems. >> a question from twitter -- how do we keep more tech in the united states? >> we work together -- work hard and put together packets, and i asked how they decided to come here. they said, we just wanted to live here. if you look at the strong pockets of tech rose, it is about quality of life. -- tech growth, it is about wqu ality of life. >> the democratic party has
faded in the south in recent years. why? >> tennessee joined the confederacy, the last is exceeded and the first back in. -- the last two seceded and the first back in. andrew johnson, after lincoln was assassinated, the western part of the state was democrat. over time, that has changed. some of those democrats in western tennessee have realized, i think a lot more like the republicans do even though my great great grandfather was a democrat.
>> the national realignment has come to tennessee? >> in that case, it really has. if you look, some of those folks voted republican in national elections before they voted for republican -- >> even though it has grown more conservative, the top three elected officials in your state, your self, and the senators, are called center-right republicans. how do you do that? >> we will see. we would love not to have a primary from the right. i have had contested elections every time. i think it should be more fun not to have one. i do not know yet. i would argue, it is a question of equality. they both faced very competitive primaries.
i try to stay away from labels. they both faced competitive primaries and one -- won. >> it helps not to have a runoff. >> that is a big difference. intimacy we don't. -- in tennessee we don't. i did not get 50% and bob did not, but close enough. >> what is the lesson that you offer for your party nationally in terms of trying to get results? do you all talk pretty often? >> i talked to both of them today. bob called me about a company we are recruiting. bob and my brother were college roommates. and lamarr and i, i have known
him since he ran for governor in 1974. lamarr was a governor, he was helpful. if you are out recruiting people it is very helpful to have your u.s. senators weigh in. >> what is the lesson -- >> to talk to everybody. if you look at the way all three of us have campaigns -- >> famous for that when he was governor, going into urban communities read >> literally walked across the state. i was too disconnected. he said start in the upper northeast corner of tennessee and walked to memphis. he did not do it straight. as he went straight across, it would be about 450 miles.
upper northeast tennessee, you are closer to canada and memphis. -- than memphis. his point was, he would talk to everyone. it has been a good lesson. number one, campaign everywhere and do not say, those aren't our voters. number two, talk about what you would do, practically. it is a very red state, but a pretty practical states. and varied. it is -- memphis is different from knoxville or chattanooga. to be governor, you had to convince the people in west tennessee that you are from the same world and cared about their issues. i married an memphis girl, it helped. she gave good testimony for me. i do not know if there is anything that surprised me.
every place in the state feels like everybody else is getting a better deal than they are. being mayor, everybody said, if you did for use knoxville what you did for west as mayor that goes away. >> tennessee, very programs. even democrats they're very supportive of gun rights. is there any gun controls legislation nationally you could be supportive of? background checks, for example. >> i do think there is a -- my view would be this. i am a data-driven person. when crimes are committed, let's go back and look at who did it, where they got their firearms and trace it that way, then go back and determine if there is
policy that should come from that. right now, the whole debate, there is not very much discussion about where to that weapon come from? and what could we have done differently? >> it seems like in washington, if there is a bill passed, increasingly likely that it will be a universal background check areas would you support that? >> it depends on how it works. i would come back to the same thing. universal background checks in light of what the data is showing us about where the problem is coming from. >> before you are in politics, you were in business. can you talk about your experience working in business and formed approach to governance? >> number one, business is just like government. it is all about getting great people. the president did not sit down with his cabinet secretaries, he might not see them. -- heads. agency had
by the state constitution, those 22 people have to work for me. you had better hire great people. i see them every week or week and a half area in terms of having to sit down and face the review, once a month. that is a long time. you had better have great people. number two, you had better understand the numbers. nice in the numbers of government. it is all about deciding what you want to do. in a business, everybody has a clear job. trying to sell more twinkies, whatever it is. in government there are so many different missions, it is hard to delineate. you should say
here is why i am here. >> when you pick up the phone and want to get a message to president obama, who you talk to in the white house? >> i talked to washington through two or three agencies. i probably talk to arnie duncan once a month. right now, hhs is a big issue. i would talk to the secretary while we are up here. i have not had to duck to the president. -- talk to the president. he called to ask your food be part of an education event -- if we would be part of an education event.
vice president biden always offers a cell phone if we needed. >> he was the sheriff of the stimulus if i recall. did you have some encounters with him? >> we were seeing the last of that. >> time for one last question. the clock is ticking down. a point of personal privilege, speaking of joe biden, and hardball for you. where is the best barbecue for tennessee? >> that is the hardest question you have asked me. if i answer, i am toast. memphis is the barbecue center of the south. i will go with memphis. >> a place? >> i can go there. - can't go there. >> is the university of
tennessee going to be confounded of -- competitive again? >> i hope so. it has got to be good, it is a big operation. the thing would help popularity like a few more wins. >> thank you ray much. -- very much. [applause] >> that concludes our even. -- event. thank you very much for being here. >> in about 45 minutes we will preview the nga meeting with governor